Silence is deadly, compliance isn’t

QLD Cabinet and Ministerial

6 May 2021

Landlords are being encouraged to act now as the deadline for residential rental properties to comply with smoke alarm legislation looms.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said from 1 January 2022, residential rental properties would be required to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, in hallways and on every level.

Landlords are being encouraged to act now as the deadline for residential rental properties to comply with smoke alarm legislation looms.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said from 1 January 2022, residential rental properties would be required to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, in hallways and on every level.

“The law applies when new leases are commenced or an existing lease is extended, but we urge all property owners to transition to the new safer alarms as soon as possible.

“It’s simple - smoke alarms save lives and interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms are the safest option available,” Mr Ryan said.

“This is about landlords putting the safety of their tenants first while also protecting their property and rental income.”

Mr Ryan said residential rental properties that didn’t comply with the legislation would be unable to be rented out from January next year.

“This legislation isn’t new, it was introduced in 2017. We gave landlords until January 2022 to ensure they had time to make changes to their property,” Mr Ryan said.

“If you haven’t made the necessary changes to your rental property now is the time. Complying with the legislation is not optional, it’s the law.”

Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland, expressed the importance of smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarm compliance is an important aspect of property management in Queensland real estate, in particular as the deadline for adherence to new legislative requirements fast approaches,” Ms Mercorella said.

“With only a handful of months left before every rental property must comply, make no mistake – there will be no extension to the deadline. Now isn’t the time to compromise on compliance – be ready by 1 January, 2022 or lose the right to rent your property.”

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms were designed to give residents extra time to escape a house fire.

“Research tells us that children are less likely to wake to the sound of a smoke alarm. This makes it important that adults in the home can hear them,” Commissioner Leach said.

“In modern homes where the parent's bedroom is often in another part of the house, they may not hear the smoke alarm in the children's bedrooms.

“Interconnection means that the smoke alarms communicate with each other so that if one smoke alarm activates in one room all the smoke alarms activate, making it more likely that everyone will have the best chance of getting out before they are overcome by smoke.”

Commissioner Leach reminded Queenslanders every home in the state would be required to install interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms by January 2027.

“Don’t wait to protect yourself, your family and your property. Everyone should make the change as soon as possible,” he said.

For more information on installing smoke alarms and what’s required of Queensland landlords, tenants and owner occupiers, visit qld.gov.au/smokealarms.

Source: Media Release 29 April 2021, Minister for Police and Corrective Services and Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, The Honourable Mark Ryan